Category Archives: Campus News

Princeton Students Walk Out, Demonstrate Against Racism and Police Violence

Outside Frist Campus Center, Princeton students rallied against racialized state violence. (Ellis Liang ’15)

Outside Frist Campus Center, Princeton students rallied against “racialized state violence.” (Ellis Liang ’15)

At 11:30 am Thursday morning, more than 200 students streamed out of their classes chanting “black lives matter” and “no justice, no peace.” They gathered on the North Lawn of Frist Campus Center, where they joined faculty and staff in expressing their solidarity with the demonstrations in Ferguson, Mo., and New York City, and demanding an end to “racialized state violence.” The protests were a response to decisions by two grand juries not to indict police officers in the deaths of two unarmed black men, Michael Brown and Eric Garner.

“Today we interrupt the daily routine of Princeton students, faculty, and staff to draw attention to a national problem, a national disease, a plague that is American racism and racialized state violence,” senior Khallid Love said at the protest.

Dressed in black with their hands raised, the protesters had a moment of silence in solidarity with demonstrations around the country. The protesters proceeded to conduct a 45-minute “die-in,” a form of nonviolent demonstration in which participants lie down on the ground to simulate death.

Continue reading

Looking Back: Jimmy Carter’s 1981 Visit to Princeton

Jimmy Carter tours the campus with help from guide/reporter Kirk Petersen ’80, right. (Daily Princetonian Archives)

Jimmy Carter tours the campus with help from guide/reporter Kirk Petersen ’80, right. (Daily Princetonian Archives)

It was a chilly spring day 33 years ago, and Jimmy Carter was in town. His visit, PAW wrote, “turned the campus into a carnival.”

How so? That morning, 500 students waited outside the Wilson School for Carter’s 11 a.m. arrival, the Daily Princetonian reported. National media outlets were there, too.

Sixty students, selected after a competitive process — they had to have taken one of seven courses, and been nominated by the professor — were soon to meet the former president in a question-and-answer session.

Earlier that morning, Carter had gone for a brisk stroll through Princeton campus (he would have gone jogging, but had forgotten to pack his running shoes). Only two Secret Service agents accompanied Carter, and anyone able to keep pace could talk to him privately.

Kirk Petersen ’80, who had graduated the previous year and was working as a cub reporter for the Home News (now part of the Home News Tribune) managed to snag an exclusive interview with Carter and took the former president on a tour of campus. Continue reading

PAW Goes to the Movies: ‘Interstellar,’ with Professor David Spergel ’82

Professor David Spergel ’82, right, and PAW senior writer Mark F. Bernstein ’83 discussed the science behind the new film Interstellar. (Beverly Schaefer)

Professor David Spergel ’82, right, and PAW senior writer Mark F. Bernstein ’83 discussed the science behind the new film Interstellar. (Beverly Schaefer)

David Spergel ’82, the Charles A. Young Professor of Astronomy on the Class of 1897 Foundation, is an astrophysicist, author, and MacArthur Fellow, but PAW asked him to put on a new hat: film critic.

In the first in an occasional feature called “PAW Goes to the Movies,” we invite a faculty member to see a current movie of particular relevance to his or her field of expertise and then play Roger Ebert for us. In this case, we chose Interstellar, the new film about space travel starring Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway. (The film was inspired by Kip Thorne *65, an astrophysicist at the California Institute of Technology.)

Spoilers follow, so read with caution if you haven’t seen the movie. Continue reading

At HackPrinceton, More Than 500 Students Explore New Platforms, Novel Ideas

Collin Stedman ’15, left, pitches HostShark at the HackPrinceton science fair. (Mary Hui ’16/Picture Perfect)

Collin Stedman ’15, left, pitches HostShark at the HackPrinceton science fair. (Mary Hui ’16/Picture Perfect)

Pop! Pop! It’s just after midnight on Sunday and music is blaring as Rachel Margulies ’16 zips over a swath of bubble wrap on her scooter in the lobby of the Friend Center. Around her, a few other students are dancing along to the music, stomping happily on the bubble wrap.

No, it’s not some misplaced Prospect Avenue party — it’s actually a scheduled late-night stress reliever as part of Princeton’s semi-annual hackathon, HackPrinceton. Gathering more than 500 students from all over the country (and Canada), HackPrinceton is a 36-hour event during which students converge at Princeton to work on software and hardware projects, all while competing for thousands of dollars in prizes. Past projects include piano playing stairs and viral apps like What Would I Say?. “It gives you an excuse to work really hard on ideas you might have had, for prizes,” Margulies says.

Participants are given space to work, along with plenty of food, gear, and mentorship. Margulies and her team have been stationed next to the Apple table (staffed with Apple engineers who offer onsite support to participants) since 4 p.m. “I think we’re doing a lot of learning,” says Eric Principato ’16, one of Margulies’ teammates. “I think we’re doing as much learning as we are coding.” Continue reading

Princeton’s Student Veterans Discuss Service

Names displayed in the Nassau Hall Memorial Atrium. (PAW)

Names displayed in the Nassau Hall Memorial Atrium. (PAW)

This is an edited version of a story posted on Nov. 13, 2014. To view the correction, click here.

Just inside the wood paneled doors of Nassau Hall, the marble walls of the Memorial Atrium list the names of hundreds of Princeton alumni who have died serving in the line of duty since the founding of the University in 1746.

“Up on that wall they have veterans who have died from the Revolutionary War throughout all the conflicts [in American history],” explained a graduate student who, as an active member of the armed forces, asked not to be identified in this story. “What’s missing is Iraq and Afghanistan,” he said, referring to the two 21st-century wars that have claimed the lives of more than 6,000 Americans.

The absence of names from the most recent conflicts, while positive, also is symptomatic of growing disconnect between American society, along with its elite institutions, and the members of the armed forces, the graduate student argued.

It was the desire to bridge this divide that led him and his fellow veteran students at Princeton to form the Student Veterans Organization, which aims to serve as both a support group for veterans on campus and a facilitator of dialogue between those veterans and members of the Princeton community at large.

On Nov. 11, the Student Veterans Organization co-sponsored its first formal event, a Veterans Day panel at Robertson Hall featuring six Princeton-affiliated veterans reflecting on their service and discussing the very divide that led to the Student Veterans Organization’s formation last spring. Continue reading

Zhang ’16 Explores Street Art for Summer Dale Project

Hosier Lane is a popular locale in Melbourne’s street-art scene. (Courtesy Maggie Zhang ’16)

Hosier Lane is a popular locale in Melbourne’s street-art scene. (Courtesy Maggie Zhang ’16)

Maggie Zhang ’16 at 5 Pointz in New York. (Courtesy Maggie Zhang)

Maggie Zhang ’16 at 5 Pointz in New York. (Courtesy Maggie Zhang)

As a high-school student in Syracuse, N.Y., photographer Maggie Zhang ’16 found art in unlikely places, including the walls of abandoned buildings in her hometown. She became fascinated with street art and began to seek it out, visiting New York City’s 5 Pointz, a now-defunct graffiti mecca, during her freshman year at Princeton. In August, with the help a Martin A. Dale ’53 Summer Award, Zhang explored one of the world’s great street-art centers: Melbourne, Australia.

Zhang spent part of her time photographing favorite murals and ephemera, but her primary goal was to learn more about the people behind the thriving street-art scene. Through interviews with artists, she found that the community covers a broad spectrum. Some are consultants by day, others paint as a form of political activism, and a few aspire to turn their street art into gallery exhibitions. Continue reading

‘Excellent Sheep’ Author Deresiewicz Discusses Admissions, Career Paths at Whig-Clio

William Deresiewicz’s New Republic article, “Don’t Send Your Kid to the Ivy League,” an inflammatory critique of the Ivy League, went viral this summer and sparked national debate about the nation’s top schools and the culture they create.

Princeton students had a chance to fire back at Deresiewicz, who came to Whig Hall Sept. 25 after visiting several other Ivy League schools to promote his book, Excellent Sheep. The book, which expands on the article, argues that elite universities train students to become “excellent sheep” — individuals who excel at completing tasks for their own sake, at the expense of self-discovery and direction.

After a talk by Deresiewicz, who attended Columbia and taught at Yale for a decade, students criticized the author’s proposals for reforming the college admission process, which include reducing applications to timed essays and evaluating applicants solely by their GPA. Continue reading

Krugman Examines Lessons of European Economic Crisis

“Nobody actually successfully predicted this crisis,” Paul Krugman said in an Oct. 6 campus lecture about Europe’s recent economic crisis. “There were a few people who did predict it, but they also predicted 10 other crises that didn’t happen.”

Krugman, a Nobel laureate in economics and New York Times columnist, opened this year’s Walter E. Edge Lecture Series, drawing a full house at McCosh 50 and two additional rooms, where the audience watched on closed-circuit TV. The renowned economist will be retiring from Princeton and joining the faculty of the City University of New York at the end of the academic year.

Krugman shared “three real lessons” to learn from Europe. Lesson number one: “Not having a currency of your own is a very dangerous thing.” He explained the benefits of having a national currency by comparing Spain and Florida. Comparing the two real-estate busts, Krugman pointed out that “without anyone saying let’s bail out Florida, Florida received what amounted to insurance against the downturn,” thanks to federal safety nets. Spain had none of those and its large budget deficits engendered concerns about the country running out of money. In contrast, the United States cannot run out of money, “at least in the normal stage of events,” since it has its own currency. Continue reading

Will *68: Campus Culture Needs ‘Small Groups With Good Arguments’

College campuses, with their homogeneous culture, “are in danger of becoming boring,” Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist George Will ’68 warned at a talk in McCosh Hall Sept. 29.

Will, speaking at an event sponsored by the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions, touted Princeton as an institution where the freedom of exchange of ideas is not an ideal but a reality.

Professor Robert George, director of the Madison Program, reflecting on his experiences teaching on other campuses, said he noticed that at Princeton “we don’t shut people down. Our students feel comfortable expressing their opinions on term papers, junior papers, senior thesis, even if they dissent from campus orthodoxies, in most cases even if they deviate from the point of view from the professors who will be grading the exams or papers.”

Both Will and George lauded Princeton for its intellectually heterogeneous culture, not allowing one point of view to dominate the intellectual discourse. George cited John Stuart Mill’s philosophy of seriously considering opposing points of view to enhance one’s understanding of the subject matter and one’s own position. Continue reading

For Engineers, A Hands-On Chance to Design, Serve

Kasturi Shah ’16, center, and Amanda Li ’16 talk with one of EWB’s community partners in La Pitajaya, Peru. (Courtesy Joshua Umansky-Castro ’17)

Kasturi Shah ’16, center, and Amanda Li ’16 talk with one of EWB’s community partners in La Pitajaya, Peru. (Courtesy Joshua Umansky-Castro ’17)

In the summer of 2013, Amanda Li ’16 and Kasturi Shah ’16 walked the hillside path of what would be phase two of a new gravity-fed potable water system for La Pitajaya, a community in the Andean foothills of Peru. The path wasn’t really a path, Li said, and their tools were pretty basic — a 60-meter measuring tape and a handheld GPS device. But Li and Shah, project managers for Princeton’s chapter of Engineers Without Borders (EWB), got the information they needed to begin their designs.

A year later, after months of planning and more than three weeks of exhausting labor, Shah was racing down the same mountain, doing her best to run faster than the water in the pipes so that she could be at the bottom when it reached the tap stand below. Seeing the project’s completion was cause for cheers and celebration from the Princeton team — six undergraduates and two traveling mentors — as well as the community partners who helped bring the system to life, Shah said.

The Princeton EWB group, founded in 2004, had two summer projects this year: one in Peru and one in Kenya. A third trip, to Sierra Leone, was canceled due to the Ebola outbreak. About 50 students are involved in various phases of the EWB work, but only a handful travel to implement the systems that the teams design. The projects are community-initiated, Li said, and community members play key roles in construction and implementation.

Corrie Kavanaugh ’17, a civil engineering major on the La Pitajaya team, said this summer’s trip — her first with EWB — was a remarkable service experience and an education in practical engineering. “It’s very difficult to actually design something in real life,” Kavanaugh said. “Being part of EWB has given me technical experience that you don’t normally get [in the classroom].”

Below, view photos of the La Pitajaya team, courtesy of Joshua Umansky-Castro ’17. Continue reading

Behind the Scenes of ‘Red,’ Theatre Intime’s First Fall Production

Ryan Gedrich ’16 as Ken, assistant to the artist Mark Rothko, in Theatre Intime's production of Red. (Aleka Gürel ’15)

Ryan Gedrich ’16 as Ken, assistant to the artist Mark Rothko, in Theatre Intime’s production of Red. (Aleka Gürel ’15)

As a high-school senior, Oge Ude ’16 read as many scripts as she could get her hands on, including one for Red, John Logan’s Tony Award-winning exploration of the abstract painter Mark Rothko. Last fall, Ude proposed a reinterpretation of the play, incorporating music and dance, for her final project in a Princeton theater course, and this week, she’ll bring that vision to the stage in Theatre Intime’s first production of the school year.

Red seemed like a perfect fit for the fall, Ude said, with the Princeton University Art Museum completing its Rothko to Richter exhibition Oct. 5. She cast the play in the spring — John Fairchild ’15 plays Rothko, and Ryan Gedrich ’16 plays Ken, the artist’s assistant — and communicated with cast and crew over the summer via Skype and email. Since returning to campus, the actors and dancers have pursued an intense rehearsal schedule in preparation for the show’s Sept. 26 premiere at Hamilton Murray Theater (show times available here).

Logan’s intriguing, intelligent dialogue about creativity attracted Ude to Red, but she says that the Theatre Intime production aims to be “accessible to all,” highlighting Rothko’s passion as much as his art.

Below, PAW contributor Aleka Gürel ’15 captured behind-the-scenes photos of Ude, Fairchild, and Gedrich during rehearsals of Red. Continue reading

For the Princeton Band, a Friendly Face in the Cockpit

(Courtesy Carolyn Havens Niemann ’89)

(Courtesy Carolyn Havens Niemann ’89)

When the Princeton University Band flew home from the football team’s opener in San Diego yesterday, the men and women in plaid found a friendly face in the cockpit for their cross-country leg from Los Angeles to Newark: Michael Niemann ’90, a pilot for United Airlines and former member of the band. He’s pictured above next to drum major Mary Gilstad ’15.

The flight assignment was a happy coincidence for Niemann, who met his wife, Carolyn Havens Niemann ’89, when the two were in the band’s trash percussion section in 1986. Thanks to Carolyn for sharing the photo.

Meet the Princeton Class of 2018 (Slide Show)

Princeton’s newest freshman cohort symbolically entered the campus through FitzRandolph Gate Sept. 7 at the annual Pre-rade. The Class of 2018, 1,312 students strong, hails from 46 states and the District of Columbia, and includes international students from 50 countries outside of the United States. Kathryn Moore ’15 captured images of the colorful procession for PAW.

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#ThrowbackThursday: Frosh Trip, 2008

(Courtesy Outdoor Action)

(Courtesy Outdoor Action)

As this year’s Outdoor Action groups return from the trails, we dial back the clock a few years to September 2008, when nearly 700 freshmen in the Class of 2012 bonded on hiking, climbing, and canoeing trips to eight states. A PAW Online slide show captured scenes from several of those “frosh trips,” including this one in the Catskills. Director Rick Curtis ’79 said that the record-high participation rate — 55 percent of the class — was spurred partly by a new program that provided free trips to students on financial aid.

Read more about OA’s history and see another great Throwback Thursday photo in this post from March 2014.

Princeton, 1996: Campus Headlines From the Year the Class of 2018 Was Born

This week, Beloit College’s annual Mindset List noted several interesting tidbits about members of the incoming Class of 2018: Since most were born in 1996, their lives never overlapped with those of Tupac Shakur or Carl Sagan; the terrorist attacks of 2001 happened when they were in kindergarten; and they’ve never known a world without The Daily Show.

clintonBut what was happening at Princeton when the Class of ’18 was still in diapers? Quite a lot: 1996 is the year when the Tigers upset UCLA in men’s basketball and said farewell to Pete Carril; President Bill Clinton delivered the Commencement address as Princeton celebrated its bicenquinquagenary (250th anniversary); and alumnus Richard Smalley *74 shared the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his discovery of a novel type of carbon molecules.

The Pyne Prize that year went to Derek Kilmer ’96, now a U.S. Congressman from the state of Washington, and Daniel Walter ’96, who went on to earn a Ph.D. from Princeton’s physics department. Kilmer’s Congressional colleague Jared Polis ’96 also was on campus. PAW wrote a column about his ambitious course load, which included 25 classes in his first two years (just over six per semester). Continue reading

Faculty Committee Recommends Ending Grade Deflation Targets

A faculty committee is recommending that Princeton reverse course on its 10-year attempt to curb grade inflation that has been widely unpopular with students. The University should drop numerical targets for A’s, which are too often “misinterpreted as quotas,” and instead allow departments to set their own grading standards, the committee said. The changes could be voted on by the faculty as early as October.

The faculty voted in 2004 to adopt a policy recommending that each department limit A grades to 35 percent for undergraduate course work and to 55 percent for junior and senior independent work. The percentage of A’s dropped from 47 percent in 2001-04 to 41.8 percent in 2010-13.

But the policy raised a number of concerns, and few colleges followed suit. In his fourth month in office, President Eisgruber ’83 appointed a group of nine faculty members to review the policy and determine whether it meets the University’s goals with as few negative consequences as possible.

The group’s report was released Aug. 7. In a statement, Eisgruber praised the committee for “a set of recommendations that I fully support.” Continue reading

Summer Strings: Physicists Debate Theories, Evidence at Annual Conference

By Mark Alpert ’82

Where do scientists go on their summer vacations? While many fled to the beach or some other getaway last month, several hundred physicists came to Princeton to discuss string theory, which is a topic you won’t find on most beach-reading lists. For the five days of Strings 2014, the latest in a series of annual conferences, the theorists eschewed sun and sand in favor of exploring the weightiest of questions: Can we construct a mathematical framework that explains the fundamental nature of the universe?

Participants at the Strings 2014 conference. (Amaris Hardy, Office of Communications)

Participants at the Strings 2014 conference. (Amaris Hardy, Office of Communications)

Princeton was the perfect venue for this year’s conference because so many string theorists work in the University’s physics department and at the Institute for Advanced Study. “No other institution is as closely associated with string theory,” said Nima Arkani-Hamed, a physicist at the Institute (and one of the stars of the recent documentary Particle Fever). “Princeton was the incubator for the field for many years.” Continue reading

For Some Tech-Minded Students, Startups Provide an Alternative Path

Today’s exploding tech industry, with its 20-something-year-old CEOs and millionaire college dropouts, thrives on a philosophy of learning from real-world successes and failures, not textbooks. This raises an important question: Is an undergraduate degree necessary for professional success?

Even at Princeton, some students are itching to ditch coursework for hands-on work experience. Just ask Alice Zheng, originally a computer science major in the Class of 2013, who is taking time off to work at The Dentboard, a Princeton-based start-up.

“The way I see it, Princeton will always be waiting for me, and I have opportunities in front of me now that I want to grasp while I can,” Zheng said.

Those opportunities include working for a company that, according to Dentboard founder Caleb Bastian, plans to offer “a new IT infrastructure for the entire dental industry.” That goal is ambitious for a company with five employees, three of whom are Princeton undergraduates taking time off from school. Continue reading

Princeton Students Create Climate-Themed Hackathon in the Philippines

Participants gathered for a photo after the Hack the Climate awards ceremony. (Courtesy Hack the Climate, Manila/Elaine Cedillo)

Participants gathered for a photo after the Hack the Climate awards ceremony. (Courtesy Hack the Climate, Manila/Elaine Cedillo)

When Princeton students Michael Lachanski ’15 and Jacob Scheer ’15 began planning an international hackathon to address climate change, the Philippines seemed like a natural host site. The country has exceptional biodiversity as well as vulnerability to weather events related to climate change. And its capital, Manila, is home to a budding tech community.

Lachanski and Scheer made their pitch to the Pace Center for Civic Engagement and earned a grant from the Center’s Davis Projects for Peace. In late May, after finishing their exams, the two flew to Manila to finish their planning. Last week, in a 60-hour marathon competition held at Manila’s De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde, teams of computer programmers used their skills to build a range of new applications. Continue reading

As 75th Anniversary Approaches, WPRB Collects Station Memorabilia

H. Grant Theis ’42, founder of WPRU, which later became WPRB. (PAW Archives, Feb. 24, 1941)

H. Grant Theis ’42, founder of WPRU, which later became WPRB. (PAW Archives, Feb. 24, 1941)

From its first broadcast in 1940, in the Pyne Hall dorm room of an ambitious and tech-savvy undergrad, to its current incarnation as a leading regional music source for indie rock, classical, jazz, and more, WPRB has followed a remarkable path.

As the station approaches its 75th anniversary, former DJ and station manager Dipika Sen ’13 is leading a push to collect pieces of WPRB history for display in a 2015 exhibition. The station will kick off its 75th-anniversary efforts at Reunions with a reception May 31 at 4:15 p.m. in its home in Bloomberg Hall (near the P-rade’s terminus). Sen and her colleagues are asking for alumni to lend or donate “relics from WPRB’s illustrious past” — T-shirts, photos, listener letters, and audio content. (Those who are not returning for Reunions can learn more about submitting memorabilia online.)

“It’s a perfect opportunity to see how the station has evolved,” Sen said. “We’ve had an enthusiastic response from alumni so far.”

READ MORE: A WPRB timeline, from the Dec. 8, 2010, issue of PAW

Professor Paul Sigmund Dies at Age 85

Paul E. Sigmund (Office of Communications)

Paul E. Sigmund (Office of Communications)

Longtime professor of politics Paul E. Sigmund died April 27 at age 85, according to an announcement on the department’s website. A funeral Mass will be held Friday, May 2 at 1:30 p.m. in the University Chapel, and a memorial service will be scheduled for the fall.

Sigmund, whose research interests included political theory and Latin American politics, served on the Princeton faculty from 1963 to 2005. He helped to found the Program in Latin American Studies, which he directed for seven years. It now awards the Paul E. Sigmund Scholars Award for fieldwork in Latin America. Sigmund also served as president of the board of Princeton in Latin America, which places students in full-year fellowships at nonprofits in Latin America after graduation.

A Food-Truck Feast on Prospect Avenue

Photo by Luke Cheng ’14

Photo by Luke Cheng ’14

On Friday, April 25, Princeton’s eating clubs hosted the first Princeton TruckFest, a food festival billed as “the alternative Prospect 11.” The event raised more than $20,000 for charities that fight hunger in Mercer County. Above, students wait in line at Pudgy’s Street Food, a Flemington-based purveyor of hot dogs and french fries.

Memorial for Richard Ullman Scheduled for June 8

Richard Ullman (Larry French/Office of Communications)

Richard Ullman (Larry French/Office of Communications)

A memorial for Richard Ullman, a leading scholar and teacher of international affairs who died in March, will be held in Richardson Auditorium at Alexander Hall on June 8 at 2 p.m., with a reception afterward at Prospect House.

Ullman was known as one of Princeton’s most devoted teachers during his 36 years on the faculty at the Woodrow Wilson School. “He is a great teacher because he cares not only about his own thoughts but also about those of his colleagues and students,” colleagues wrote in 2001, the year he retired. “This, in part, is why we take him so seriously: because he takes others seriously ….” He published articles and books on such topics as Soviet-Western relations, nuclear policy, the Middle East, and U.S. security strategy.

Students’ Open-Source Tech Project Enables New Voice-Command Apps

Computer science students Shubhro Saha ’15, left, and Charlie Marsh ’15. (Courtesy the Jasper Project)

Computer science students Shubhro Saha ’15, left, and Charlie Marsh ’15. (Courtesy the Jasper Project)

For Shubhro Saha ’15, the idea of developing an open-source platform for voice-controlled computer applications was born out of a simple desire: to have his house act like billionaire Tony Stark’s in the Iron Man films. “I was sitting around last June and I wanted to live like Tony Stark — I wanted the experience of sitting in a room and talking to my walls,” Saha said.

Jasper, the platform that Saha created with fellow computer-science major Charlie Marsh ’15, operates like a customizable Siri, allowing users to create their own voice-command tools. Its release earlier this month led to broad interest from programmers, as well as coverage from Forbes, Wired, and a number of niche technology sites.

The idea grew from a collaboration last summer: After Saha built a prototype of his idea, he reached out to Marsh to see if he’d also be interested in working on Jasper. Saha first met Marsh when the two worked on a project for COS 333: Advanced Programming Techniques.

When Saha video chatted with Marsh to demonstrate the prototype of Jasper, Marsh was “incredibly impressed” with the progress Saha had made. “From there I was sold,” Marsh said. “I really wanted to be involved.” Continue reading

Grody ’11 Is Music Director of a New York Premiere

TGI PosterPlay: The Great Immensity, a musical play about climate change by the investigative theater company The Civilians. Andrea Grody ’11 is the music director. The show is written and directed by Steven Cosson and songs are by Michael Friedman.

Dates and location: Through May 1, at the Public Theater, 425 Lafayette Street, New York, N.Y.

The music director: As a student at Princeton, Grody was music director of the work-in-progress production of The Great Immensity at the Berlind Theatre. Today she is a musical-theater artist in New York City. The musical she wrote, Strange Faces, about young people with Asperger’s syndrome, received readings last summer.  Continue reading

Marcoux ’91 Chosen as Next Athletic Director

Mollie Marcoux ’91, a sports and recreation executive and former two-sport athlete at Princeton, was introduced as the University’s next athletic director in a press conference at Jadwin Gym April 15. Marcoux, who will take the helm as the Ford Family Director of Athletics in August, will be the first woman to lead the department, which includes 38 men’s and women’s varsity teams.

President Eisgruber ’83 made the announcement, hailing Marcoux’s 19 years of experience at Chelsea Piers Management in New York and Connecticut; her time as a coach and administrator at the Lawrenceville School; and her contributions as a student-athlete at Princeton, where she excelled in ice hockey and soccer and graduated cum laude from the history department.

“She is an ideal leader for our athletics program,” Eisgruber said. “She understands, because she has lived it, the commitment that Princeton makes to ensure that the term scholar-athlete bears equal weight on both sides of the hyphen.” Continue reading

Read PAW’s First Issue, Published on This Date in 1900

PAW’s first issue — April 7, 1900. Click on the photo to read a PDF version.

PAW’s first issue — April 7, 1900. Click on the photo to read a PDF version.

Have you ever wondered what class notes looked like when PAW began publishing in 1900? To mark PAW’s 114th birthday, we’ve scanned and posted the entire first issue, including notes that report on Booth Tarkington 1893’s latest book and the military exploits of Lt. Gordon Johnston 1896 that would later earn him the Medal of Honor.

Volume 1, Issue 1 also outlined the magazine’s mission; shared news from regional alumni dinners and campus events; updated Tiger fans with the latest baseball scores; published the first PAW memorial, for Samuel H. Pennington, Class of 1825; and included an advertisement for the Princeton Inn (now Forbes College), “A charming resort situated in the midst of the beautiful university town … University golf links adjacent.”

Click here to view the full PDF.

Bernanke Speaks About Challenges of Chairing the Fed

Ben Bernanke was a tenured professor at Princeton and chaired the economics department from 1996 until September 2002, when he went on public-service leave to serve on the Federal Reserve board. Four years later, he was appointed as the Fed chairman.

Former Fed chairman Ben Bernanke, pictured in a 2010 visit to campus. (Denise Applewhite/Office of Communications)

Former Fed chairman Ben Bernanke, pictured in a 2010 visit to campus. (Denise Applewhite/Office of Communications)

“The biggest thing I’d ever run before [the Federal Reserve] was the economics department at Princeton, so there were a lot of new things to think about,” Bernanke said in a speech at McCosh 50 on April 2. While his work as department chair gave him “a lot of experience working with prima donnas,” Bernanke said that leading the Fed was filled with new challenges.

“The thing that surprised me the most about the job was how much of it involved dealing with political figures,” Bernanke said. “The Fed is independent and apolitical, that’s very true — there were no politics in our decision-making. But it’s still very important for the Fed to coordinate with and explain itself to Congress and the administration.”

Bernanke was invited to campus by the Whig-Cliosophic Society to receive the 2014 James Madison Award for Distinguished Public Service. Past recipients of this award include Golda Meir (1974), Bill Clinton (2000), and Antonin Scalia (2008). Continue reading